Sunday, January 6, 2008

Wind energy headline doesn't cut to real chase

From Ellis County resident, Jacinta Faber:

The headline in Thursday's HDN, Poll: Public Favors Wind Energy, might appear as a mandate for the 100-plus families situated in western Ellis County to stop opposing the proposed wind project.

This might seem like a clear message that most Kansans would want 400-foot turbines situated next to their homes, or even better, next to other people's homes. Claiming that Kansans favor wind energy indicates little about how to resolve logistical issues concerning the proper establishment of wind industry.

We have been taught in school that the way a question is asked influences the way a person answers it. If a poll were conducted with the question, "Do you support the treatment of raw sewage?" undoubtedly the majority of Kansans would respond in the affirmative. It would not follow that the majority of Kansans would want a treatment plant next to their homes.

In the same vein, I believe the number of positive responses given by Kansans regarding wind power would decrease significantly if they were asked if they would want an industrial wind plant placed 1000 feet from their homes.

Since the beginning of this debate, I never have stated I am against wind power. My concern has been about the noise industrial wind turbines produce.

What I would like to see on the front page of the HDN is this headline: "Wind Ordinance Adopted By The Trempealeau County (Wisconsin) Board." The Trempealeau county officials have taken their responsibility for the protection of their citizens seriously. The noise section included in the ordinance mandates a 1-mile setback between residences and industrial size turbines. I bet if the people of Trempealeau County were to be polled, the majority would support wind energy, too.

Submitted by:
Jacinta Faber
Hays, Kansas

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